McIlroy may withdraw from Olympics

Rory McIlroy may bypass Rio Games due to Zika virus

Andy Roberts's picture
Mon, 23 May 2016

Rory McIlroy admits he may withdraw from the Olympics because of the Zika virus in Brazil.

McIlroy, who won the Irish Open on Sunday, still plans to compete at the Rio Games but is now "monitoring" the spread of the virus that is linked to brain deformalities in newborn babies.

"There's going to be a point in the next couple of years where we're (with fiancee Erica Stoll, pictured above) going to have to think about starting a family," said McIlroy.

"Right now I'm ready to go but I don't want anything to affect that."

Asked if there was a chance he might not go to Rio, McIlroy, replied: "Yeah, but right now I am going and looking forward to it."

Should the world number three withdraw from the tournament, he would join the likes of Charl Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen, Adam Scott, Marc Leishman and Vijay Singh in doing so.

"As it gets closer I am relishing the thought of going down there and competing for gold," he added.

"But I have been reading a lot of reports about Zika and there have been some articles coming out saying that it might be worse than they're saying and I have to monitor that situation.

"I am actually going to get my injections on Wednesday - at least I will be immunised for whatever... if I do get bitten by a mosquito down there."

As for the Northern Irishman competing in the Irish team when golf makes its return to the Olympics for the first time since 1904, McIlroy spoke of a change in attitude. 

"I used to view the Olympics with a bit of resentment because it made me really think about who I was and where I was from.

"If there was just a Northern Irish team I'd love to play for a Northern Irish team, but it doesn't quite work for that. I've always played golf for Ireland.

"We view golf in this island as the whole of Ireland and it's what I've always done, and that's what I'm going to down there - proud to put on that green shirt and compete for a gold."




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